Rory McIlroy Retakes World No. 1 Spot with Win at CJ Cup

Rory McIlroy regained the No. 1 spot in the world for the ninth time by defeating Kurt Kitayama and endured a nervous final hole with a 3-putt bogey which gave him a 4- under 67 and a one-stroke victory Sunday at the CJ Cup in South Carolina.

It wasn’t just the fact that he won that made him cry; it was knowing how far he’d gone with so much help from people who were there for him every step of the way.

With five holes left to play, McIlroy seized complete command by running off three straight birdies. The pivotal run began when he hit his 5 iron from 227 yards out to 15 feet on the Par 3 14th.

”I think that the birdie on 14 was really … that’s what separated … the birdie on 14 was big,” McIlroy said. That was followed by another key moment on the 348-yard 15th hole, where he made another birdie, bettering Kitayama’s par.

McIlroy followed that with a long birdie putt on the 16th hole.

This was Rory McIlroy‘s 23rd win on the PGA Tour and 31st win overall.

He won his second consecutive CJ Cup title. The South Korea-based golf event was held in Las Vegas in 2021 when McIlroy was ranked 14th in the world.

Setting off his climb back to No. 1 was victories in the Canadian Open and the Tour Championship to win the FedEx Cup.

”I’ve worked so hard over the last 12 months to get back to this place,” McIlroy said. ”I feel like I’m enjoying the game as much as I ever have. I played with that joy and it’s shown over these last few months.

”It’s a big achievement. I’m proud of myself right now.”

When golf was closed due to the COVID-19 outbreak, McIlroy was ranked first but lost his position to Jon Rahm when Rahm won the Memorial tournament in the middle of July 2020.

Scottie Scheffler ended up finishing in the middle of the field at the Congaree Golf Club, which means McIlroy could have won the tournament and still claimed the No. 1 ranking. It was tougher work than he had expected though, so he wasn’t quite ready to give up yet…

McIlroy had a one-shot advantage heading into the final round, but he wasn’t able to take full control until he reached the 18th tee box. Even then, his victory was far from assured. He had a two-shot lead and hit his 40-foot putt some eight feet away from the hole, while Kitayama was 20 feet away from the pin. Both missed.

Kitayama overcame an initial two-stroke deficit but then lost his lead when McIlroy made some big putts. He couldn’t respond.

Kitayama finished without making any bogeys and shot a 67 for his third 2nd-place finish since joining the PGA Tour last year. He earned $1,134,000.

This is Rory’s 3rd win on the season, including a 62 in the Canadian Open to defeat Tony Finau and Justin Thomas, a 66 at the Tour Championship over Scheffler, and a 67 at Congaree with two final-round bogeys.

Another trophy and, finally, another trip to the top of the golf world for Rory McIlroy.

The CJ Cup is a prestigious golf tournament that attracts top players from around the world. As the final event of the season, it serves as the Tour Championship, where golfers vie for the title and substantial prize money. Among the notable contenders is Rory McIlroy, a seasoned professional known for his skill and charisma on the course. With his impressive track record and unwavering determination, McIlroy adds an exciting element to the competition, captivating fans with his dynamic play and quest for victory.


CJ Cup Final Results

1. Rory McIlroy -17 $1890000

2. Kurt Kitayama -16 $1134000

3. K.H. Lee -15 $714000

T4. Tommy Fleetwood -14 $462000

T4. Jon Rahm -14 $462000

6. Aaron Wise -12 $378000

T7. Billy Horschel -11 $316312

T7. Sam Burns -11 $316312

T7. Lee Hodges -11 $316312

T7. Brendon Todd -11 $316312

T11. Jason Day -10 $252000

T11. Tom Kim -10 $252000

T13. Taylor Montgomery -9 $189756

T13. Matt Fitzpatrick -9 $189756

T13. Tyrrell Hatton -9 $189756

T13. Cam Davis -9 $189756

T13. Tom Hoge -9 $189756

T18. Brendan Steele -8 $144480

T18. Mito Pereira -8 $144480

T18. Maverick McNealy -8 $144480

T21. Keegan Bradley -7 $119280

T21. Viktor Hovland -7 $119280

T23. Cameron Young -6 $88305

T23. Max Homa -6 $88305

T23. Brian Harman -6 $88305

T23. Corey Conners -6 $88305

T23. Shane Lowry -6 $88305

T23. Taylor Moore -6 $88305

T29. Andrew Putnam -5 $65730

T29. Matt Kuchar -5 $65730

T29. Justin Suh -5 $65730

T29. Wyndham Clark -5 $65730

T29. Collin Morikawa -5 $65730

T34. Rickie Fowler -4 $54180

T34. Hideki Matsuyama -4 $54180

T34. Sungjae Im -4 $54180

T37. Denny McCarthy -3 $46830

T37. Alex Noren -3 $46830

T37. Bio Kim -3 $46830

T40. Sebastián Muñoz -2 $38430

T40. Justin Thomas -2 $38430

T40. Keith Mitchell -2 $38430

T40. Harris English -2 $38430

T40. Danny Willett -2 $38430

T45. Ryan Palmer -1 $29085

T45. Scottie Scheffler -1 $29085

T45. Emiliano Grillo -1 $29085

T45. Russell Henley -1 $29085

T49. Sanghyun Park E $24010

T49. Adam Hadwin E $24010

T49. Seamus Power E $24010

T52. Davis Riley 1 $21840

T52. Webb Simpson 1 $21840

T52. Jordan Spieth 1 $21840

T52. Si Woo Kim 1 $21840

T52. Alex Smalley 1 $21840

T52. Chris Kirk 1 $21840

T58. Lucas Glover 2 $20685

T58. Scott Stallings 2 $20685

T58. Luke List 2 $20685

T58. J.J. Spaun 2 $20685

T62. Sepp Straka 3 $20055

T62. Byeong Hun An 3 $20055

64. Seonghyeon Kim 4 $19740

T65. Christiaan Bezuidenhout 6 $19425

T65. John Huh 6 $19425

T67. Sahith Theegala 7 $18795

T67. Gary Woodland 7 $18795

T67. J.T. Poston 7 $18795

T67. Troy Merritt 7 $18795

71. Trey Mullinax 8 $18270

T72. Chanmin Jung 9 $17850

T72. Kevin Kisner 9 $17850

T72. Chez Reavie 9 $17850

75. Yongjun Bae 10 $17430

76. Sanghun Shin 17 $17220

T77. Yeongsu Kim 19 $16905

T77. Yoseop Seo 19 $16905

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